Recipe: Pomegranate Crema, Pistachio Praline »

A marriage made in heaven from Eat at the Bar by Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros

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Pomegranate crema and pistachio praline from <i>Eat at the Bar</i> by Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros

Pomegranate crema and pistachio praline from Eat at the Bar by Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros [©Matt McConnell]

<i>Eat at the Bar</i> by Matt McConnell & Jo Gamvros

 

Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros loved the amazing flavours and relaxed hospitality they found on their travels through Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. So much so that they were driven to share that whole experience through Bar Lourinhã in Melbourne and Eat at the Bar.

There are 55 recipes, inspired by local farmers, fishmongers, providores and other suppliers, that are the best from Matt's 10 years cooking with these flavours. Eat at the Bar is also part travel journal with spectacular photography and tales from their travels.

This recipe includes a fruit intrinsic to the Mediterranean.  

Matt and Jo write: "We ate heaps of pomegranates in Samos and saw them all over the place in Spain and Portugal. We love the combination of pomegranate and pistachio – they’re pretty much best buddies. We did a lot of different desserts in Samos playing around with these two ingredients. When pomegranates are in season, you’ll always see them on our menu."
 

Pomegranate Crema, Pistachio Praline

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • pomegranate seeds to serve

Pistachio Praline

  • 75 g (2¾ oz/½ cup)  pistachio nuts, roasted
  • 345 g (12 oz/1½ cups)  caster (superfine) sugar

Crema

  • 1 litre (34 floz/4 cups) thickened cream
  • 115 g (4 oz/½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • ¼ vanilla pod, splitand scraped
  • 3 gelatine leaves, soaked
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
     

Lemon Syrup

  • 6 tablespoons Sugar Syrup (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
     

Sugar Syrup

Prepare a sugar syrup by combing equal parts caster (superfine) sugar and boiling water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
 

Method

To make the pistachio praline, place the pistachios on a baking tray lined with baking paper and set aside.

Put the sugar in a small, heavy-based saucepan and add enough water to cover the sugar. Stir gently, then place over a high heat. Cook until the sugar begins to change colour, trying not to stir or allow the sugar to crystallise.

Once you have an even, dark caramel, carefully pour the mixture over the pistachios. Leave to cool completely before roughly chopping with a knife.

For the crema, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla in a heavy-based saucepan set over a low heat. Heat gently, to no more than 50°C (122°F), and stir occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.

Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes, then squeeze any excess water from the gelatine leaves and stir them into the mixture with the pomegranate molasses. Stir well, then pass the crema through a fine-mesh sieve and pour into serving bowls.

Allow to cool and set in the fridge before serving.

While the crema sets, make the lemon syrup. Combine the sugar syrup and lemon juice in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, sprinkle a generous amount of the chopped praline, lemon syrup and pomegranate seeds on top of the crema.


This recipe is from Eat at the Bar by Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publishers.

Eat At The Bar by Matt McConnell and Jo Gamvros is published by Hardie Grant  (Sydney, NSW; Oct 2018; Hb, 240pp, RRP A$50.00). It is available at good bookshops nationally.

It can also be purchased online via booko.com.au »

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